Nepal quake: Over 160,000 houses destroyed, blow to tourism industry

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nepal-1Nepal’s devastating earthquake has destroyed over 160,000 households so far, and the number could go as high as nearly half a million, the Nepalese government has said. The recent catastrophe is said to be the worst of all time, with the last one occurring in 1934, which had destroyed nearly 90,000 households.

According to the report released by the United Nation’s humanitarian agency OCHA, (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), the worst affected districts are Gorkha and Sindhupal Chowk, which has nearly 90 percent of the houses destroyed.

The powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake, occurred on April 25, with its epicenter about 80 kilometre north-west of Kathmandu, has so far killed 7,365 and injured nearly 15,000. The disaster had destroyed Nepal’s architectural jewels, including the Dharahra Tower and Ghantaghar Tower (clock Tower).

The country, which used to be buzzing with tourists, now wear a desolate forlorn look, with sad, depressed and scared faces all around.

The disaster has dealt a major blow to Nepal’s 10 billion rupee tourism industry – the driving force of country’s economy. Industry sources fear cancellation of plans by about 200,000 international visitors over the next four months.

epa04721311 A monk inspects the damage at Nepalese heritage site Syambhunaath Stupa, also known as monkey temple, after a powerful earthquake struck Nepal, in Kathmandu, Nepal, 26 April 2015. Rescue workers in Nepal scoured through mounds of rubble for earthquake survivors as the country's official death toll climbed past 2,300 and new tremors sent shocked survivors scurrying outdoors. Nepal's Interior Ministry put the confirmed death toll from 7.8-magnitude tremor at 2,352, with most of the victims reported in the capital, Kathmandu.  EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA

“We are losing many tourists, particularly from India, as several monuments that attracted them have been affected in the earthquake. Indians account for about 20 per cent of international visitors to Nepal, who usually tour our country during summer,” said Suman Pandey, the Chairman of the Nepal Chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association.

He added that the Himalayan nation also attracts visitors from China, Europe, North America and Australia, and overall there could be reduction of over 75 percent visitors from expected 275,000 visitors in till August 2015.


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